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I-Team: Extra Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine Wasted

BOSTON (CBS) - With the COVID-19 vaccine in high demand, nobody wants to see a dose thrown out. "I wouldn't want to see a vaccine go to waste whatsoever," said Andy Adamson, who was been waiting for the vaccine. "It's a matter of life and death."

But the I-Team has learned doses have gone to waste. It happened at the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center on the first day of the vaccine clinic.

Maria Celli is the supervisor of the clinic. "We knew and anticipated that the vaccines come in vials of 10 doses and so we had scheduled in groups of 10, but what we weren't anticipating is that there might be an eleventh dose in some of those vials," Celli said. "At that time there was nobody on a wait list that we could access in that moment."

Healthcare providers are routinely finding extra doses in the Moderna vaccines, which must be used within six hours of opening the vials.

"It's upsetting that any vaccines would go to waste," said Tim Ford, professor of public health at UMass Lowell. "The government put nothing in place to help states actually administer the vaccine to put shots in people's arms. Had they provided information on the extra vaccines and the fact that another person could have been vaccinated from that vial, that would have made a difference. It is shocking and it's a real shame."

Massachusetts requires reporting of discarded doses. Celli told WBZ they reported the doses they discarded. "We have not needed to discard anymore after that," Celli said. "Lesson deeply learned."

The state tells WBZ that a total of 1,272 vaccine doses have been reported as wasted - 1,096 from Moderna and 176 from Pfizer. That's a vaccine wastage percentage of 0.13% for the 960,100 COVID vaccine doses that have been shipped to Massachusetts


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